What are Corns?

A corn is a small, hardened circle of skin that may result from friction or pressure. The most common locations for corns are on the hands and toes, but they may form on other parts of the body. These skin lesions may or may not be painful and are generally surrounded by a patch of thicker, harder skin.

Causes of Corns

Corns typically form when the skin is exposed to pressure or friction, usually due to wearing tight-fitting shoes. Friction may occur due to an underlying deformity, poorly fitting shoes or from sustaining an injury. Corns can also form if a person has a condition that affects the shape of the foot or affects its sweat glands.

Symptoms of Corns

  • A small, raised, hard circle of skin
  • Thickened, calloused skin around the circle
  • Pain when pressure is applied to the area
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Pus-filled blisters

Treatment for Corns

Before attempting to remove a corn, it is important to establish what is causing it and treat this underlying cause. This may involve taking measures such as wearing different shoes or using orthotics to correct a foot deformity. Treatment may also involve applying a cushion or pad to the area to prevent further friction or pressure. In extreme cases, a physician may attempt to surgically remove a corn.

It is not recommended to attempt to remove corns at home. Doing so may cause the corn to spread or introduce an infection.